ASTM D4364 - 13

    Standard Practice for Performing Outdoor Accelerated Weathering Tests of Plastics Using Concentrated Sunlight

    Active Standard ASTM D4364 | Developed by Subcommittee: D20.50

    Book of Standards Volume: 08.02


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    ASTM D4364

    Significance and Use

    4.1 This practice involves the concentration of sunlight by a system of plane mirrors, arranged to simulate a parabolic trough focused on an air-cooled target board on which the test specimens are mounted. Exposure cycles with and without water spray that are commonly used for this method are described in Table 1. Other exposure cycles not listed in Table 1 can be used, upon consensual agreement between interested parties.

    4.1.1 Accelerated outdoor exposure tests performed using this practice in an absence of a programmed moisture cycle are intended to simulate conventional exposure testing on racks facing the equator in desert and arid regions.

    4.1.2 Accelerated outdoor exposure tests performed using this practice with a programmed moisture cycle shall possess the feature of spraying high purity water on the specimens in a regular, periodic fashion that is intended to simulate the results of conventional exposure testing on fixed racks facing the equator in subtropical, semi-humid, and temperate regions. Water-spray cycles that are recommended by this practice are given in Table 1.

    4.2 The effectiveness of the Fresnel-reflector accelerated outdoor weathering test machines depends primarily on the amount and character of the UV in the direct-beam component of sunlight.

    Note 2Use of the apparatus in regions of moderate- to high-diffuse irradiance will reduce the test machine's effectiveness substantially for providing concentrated UV in the target (specimen) area.

    4.3 Testing to specific levels (quantities) of solar ultraviolet radiant exposure is recommended. Elapsed time exposure-level determinations shall not be used for testing with this practice. Testing to specific levels of UV irradiation, whether to total UV or within selected wavebands, is an effective method for improving agreement between wintertime and summertime testing on the Fresnel-reflector weathering-test machines. Other seasonal factors such as temperature and time of wetness can affect the weathering of test specimens significantly.

    4.4 The weathering machines described provide for specimen cooling that reduces thermal problems in most materials. It is recommended that monthly temperature measurements be performed on heat-sensitive plastics to record the typical monthly test specimen temperatures.

    Note 3It is possible for heat-sensitive plastic materials and thick specimens that are self-insulating to exhibit thermal-induced degradation that is unrealistic compared to natural weathering. Clear, thin-film photodegradable plastics are not recommended for testing with this practice for this reason.

    4.5 Since the natural environment varies with respect to time, geography, and topography, it can be expected that the effects of natural exposure will vary accordingly. Furthermore, all materials are not affected equally by increased irradiance and temperature. The quantitative correlation between exposures conducted in accordance with this practice and those conducted under specified natural exposure conditions will therefore vary with the type and composition of the material.

    4.6 While reference materials tested in accordance with this practice and Practices G7 and D1435 are useful for providing information on the relationship between accelerated and real-time tests, the acceleration factor found for the reference material cannot be used to extrapolate results of the accelerated test to predict lifetimes under natural exposure except for the specific material for which the relationship has been established.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice covers the use of Fresnel-reflecting concentrators that use the sun as a source of ultraviolet (UV) and longer wavelength radiation. Such devices are used in the outdoor accelerated exposure testing of plastics.

    1.2 This practice provides a procedure for performing outdoor accelerated exposure testing of plastics using a Fresnel-reflector outdoor accelerated weathering test machine. The apparatus is described herein and in Practice G90 more completely.

    1.3 This practice is applicable to a range of plastic materials including, but not limited to, plastic films, sheets, laminates, and extruded and molded products in a variety of shapes and sizes, as specified in 8.2 and 8.3.

    1.4 This practice describes test conditions that attempt to simulate plastics exposures in desert and subtropical climates. Specimen preparation, property testing procedures, and the evaluation of results are covered in existing test methods or specifications for specific materials.

    1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Specific precautionary statements are given in Section 7.

    Note 1This standard is equivalent to ISO 877-3: 2009.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D859 Test Method for Silica in Water

    D883 Terminology Relating to Plastics

    D1435 Practice for Outdoor Weathering of Plastics

    D1600 Terminology for Abbreviated Terms Relating to Plastics

    D1898 Practice for Sampling of Plastics

    D4141 Practice for Conducting Black Box and Solar Concentrating Exposures of Coatings

    D4517 Test Method for Low-Level Total Silica in High-Purity Water by Flameless Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy

    E772 Terminology of Solar Energy Conversion

    E824 Test Method for Transfer of Calibration From Reference to Field Radiometers

    G7 Practice for Atmospheric Environmental Exposure Testing of Nonmetallic Materials

    G24 Practice for Conducting Exposures to Daylight Filtered Through Glass

    G90 Practice for Performing Accelerated Outdoor Weathering of Nonmetallic Materials Using Concentrated Natural Sunlight

    G113 Terminology Relating to Natural and Artificial Weathering Tests of Nonmetallic Materials

    ISO Standard

    ISO877-3:2009 Plastics--Methods of exposure to solar radiation--Part 3: Intensified weathering using concentrated solar radiation


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 83.080.01 (Plastics in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/D4364

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